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Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Review

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Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Testing:

Testing the  Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE motherboard will involve running it through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which includes both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay, so we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and NVIDIA drivers for the NVIDIA GTX 770. In the past, we had locked the clock speed on the processor to eliminate any easily controlled variables due to processor speed. However, there is a difference in how each manufacturer handles the CPU default and boost speeds, creating opportunity for one board to deliver a higher level of performance. This variable is a point of difference between boards. The majority of users will run the stock settings, making this point a valid concern, so we are changing up the test methods to capture this difference.

Testing Setup: Socket 1150

 

Comparison Motherboard:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

Having not worked in a Biostar EFI BIOS before, it took a few minutes to locate the appropriate tools to maximize the clock speed on my beat-up Core i7 4770K. Overclocking followed standard practice for Haswell processors by increasing the CPU clock multiplier followed by tweaking the voltage to get the maximum core clock speed. Once that's nailed down, I bumped up the ring or cache multiplier, tweaking voltage as needed to get the highest cache ratio that would work with the CPU speed I had set. The final settings proved to be a clock speed of 4.61GHz with a cache ratio of just over 4400MHz. Applied voltages in the BIOS were 1.24v to the CPU core,+300mv to the system agent, with the rest set on auto. A quick and easy overclock. Working strictly in the BIOS is one way to OC, but Biostar includes its own tweaking utility called TOverclocker that works to help you find some soft limits in the OS.

 

Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed overclocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the overclocked scores in the testing.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. PCMark 7
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2014
  3. Cinebench 11.5
  4. X.264 5.1
  5. AIDA 64 3.00
  6. CrystalDiskMark
  7. ATTO 2.47
  8. iPerf
  9. RightMark Audio Analyzer
  • Gaming:
  1. 3DMark
  2. DiRT 3
  3. Metro: Last Light



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